Washington, D.C. – Representative Todd Rokita (IN-04) issued the following statement after he was appointed by House leadership to serve as a conferee for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization. The Conference Committee is made up of negotiation teams of members from both the House and Senate. They held their first meeting today:
“I thank Speaker Ryan for the opportunity to serve on the ESEA Conference Committee.
“As we move through this negotiation process we must remember that our children’s future is at stake. How we educate our children today will determine how they will develop as the leaders of tomorrow. My goal is to make sure the conservative reforms and policies of the Student Success Act that put parents, teachers, school boards, and states in control, are incorporated as much as possible into the final proposal,” said Rep. Rokita.
The proposed framework includes many conservative reform policies from H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, a bill that Rep. Rokita co-authored and led to passage in July. Specifically, it expands access to quality charter schools and allows federal funds to follow low-income children to the school of the parent’s choice. It also restores local control by ending federally mandated high-stakes testing and eliminating the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Further, it eliminates over 50 ineffective programs and creates a flexible grant so states can decide how to use that money for students. It reins in the Secretary of Education, eliminating a lot of his discretion and authority. Finally, it prohibits the federal government from requiring adoption of Common Core or conditioning receipt of funds on adoption of Common Core.
“I firmly believe when parents have a choice, kids have a chance. I look forward to producing a strong, workable law that respects local control and school choice,” added Rokita.
Rep. Rokita currently chairs the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, and as part of his role, has visited over 30 schools to see first-hand the positive impact that local control has on schools.
This is Rep. Rokita’s third Conference appointment. Earlier this year, Rep. Rokita was appointed to the Budget Conference Committee and the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Committee.